Operationalisation of successful ageing in the oral health context: a citation analysis

Colman McGrath*, Rita P. C. Suen, May C. M. Wong, Andy W. K. Yeung, Gerry McKenna, Ciaran Moore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review



The rapidly ageing world has placed considerable demands on health and social care. To address this, the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations (UN) have declared action for this decade (2021–2030) to promote healthy ageing. Operationalisation of successful ageing in the oral health context in terms of its dimensions and their interconnectedness was determined.

A citation analysis was conducted following a scoping review to determine oral health's relationship with 5 key dimensions of successful ageing. This included examining the occurrence and co-occurrence amongst dimensions and over time. Specific consideration of citations by country, journal type, and authors through overlay visualisation was performed to map their interconnectedness.

The scoping review identified 263 publications covering 1730 specific terms. There was a growing interest in successful ageing in the oral health context, mostly in the past decade (2010 onwards; 65.8%, 173 publications). The dimension of key consideration was “health and ADLs” (activities of daily living); this dimension appeared in 97.3% of publications (n = 256) and was found earliest to emerge, with the greatest link strengths compared to other dimensions. Country-level variations in citation data were observed, and there was good citation interconnectedness between them. Key oracles for dissemination have been medical rather than dental-specific journals. Amongst authors, there was considerable interconnectedness in the field.

Findings highlight how successful ageing in the oral health context has been studied, with implications for addressing the significance of oral health to older peoples’ lives in line with the WHO and UN's agenda. Citation analyses identified the “known unknowns” area for further consideration, and these findings have the potential to inform how dental research may best move forward with the successful ageing agenda to bring about translational impact.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Dental Journal
Early online date18 May 2024
Publication statusEarly online date - 18 May 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024


  • Bibliometric analysis
  • Oral health
  • Successful ageing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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